New video from Jim’s Big Ego. Favorite lyric: “I’m a xenophobic tapiocaphobe, and a claustrophic agoraphobe.”
I’m a little late to the party, but if you missed it, Google made an interesting announcement on their weblog yesterday: “From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.” The goal is to reduce the potential benefit that spammers derive from mass-posting hyperlinks to themselves in weblog comment sections.
Not long ago I had to turn off my own comment section when the housecleaning, even with MT-Blacklist installed, became more trouble than it was worth. Also of concern was the machine cost of filtering the comments. Movable Type is a CGI program, which means that each request spawns a new Unix process. Bleah. Of course I could probably make things a lot faster with FastCGI, but it boils down to what you want to spend your time on. If you want to comment on this weblog, you’re most welcome to do so — on your own weblog. We have great tools at our disposal, I’ll see it.
With comments turned off, this weblog still routinely gets over a thousand spam attempts per day. It brought me around to the view that even though the spammers could save resources by detecting failure, there’s simply no reason to bother because the cost of spamming is so low. If even one person clicks on the spam link, it’s worth the trouble.
The Google proposal is cool because it at least takes some of the juice out of comment spamming. I don’t think it will have much of an impact, though. None of the hyperlinks in my email inbox raise the spammer’s Google rank, but they just keep coming. Much cooler is the collaborative push by all those vendors listed on the announcement. Now that’s an accomplishment I can get excited about!
Vloggercon appears to be a one day video blogging conference in NYC on Jan. 22.
My friend Doug Harris writes about newsreaders in a piece called “Aggregator Bliss”
Benjamen Walker takes on failure in this week’s Theory of Everything. Will he succeed? Don’t think about it too hard, it’ll make your head hurt 🙂
Fellow core team member Jade Rubick compiled a list of what OpenACS has accomplished in the last year.
A bittersweet article by Matt Ashare on the closing of Disc Digger’s in Davis Square, and more generally the fate of used record shops. My hangout back in Evanston was Vintage Vinyl. I spent hours and hours there on weekends when I was in high school. It looks like they’re still around. That’s good to hear.
Mail’s working again. Joy! If you sent me something and got a bounce, it’s safe to resend.
They tell me that my email address should be working again in a couple of hours.
I’m having trouble with email today. You may get bounces from my MIT address. If you need to reach me urgently, please try one of my many instant messaging accounts. AIM: adaegrumet, MSN: firstname.lastname@example.org, ICQ: 140861619, Skype: aegrumet.